7 Core Elements of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a guide for improving antimicrobial stewardship programs in healthcare settings. According to the agency, the following steps are necessary for a successful program:

Leadership commitment. Leadership must dedicate necessary human, financial and IT resources to the project.

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Accountability. A single leader should be responsible for program outcomes.  According to the CDC, physician leaders may be particularly effective for antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Drug expertise. A single pharmacist leader should also be responsible for working to improve antibiotic use.

Action. Implement at least one recommended action, such as systemic evaluation of ongoing treatment need, after a set period of initial treatment.

Tracking. Monitor antibiotic prescribing and resistance patterns.

Reporting. The program should include regular reporting of information on antibiotic use and resistance to doctors, nurses and relevant staff.

Education. Educate clinicians about resistance and optimal prescribing techniques.

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